Ukraine and Romania have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the Danube region and cooperation in the field of environmental protection, in particular, the countries are preparing to sign a bilateral agreement on the implementation of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention).
The corresponding decision was made by Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ruslan Strelets and Minister of Environment, Water and Forests of Romania Barna Tanczos during an online meeting on June 27, according to the website of the Ukrainian ministry.
The Ukrainian minister also spoke about the harm done to the environment since the start of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, and expressed hope for Romania’s support in recovering damages from the aggressor in the international court.
“About 260 cases of ecocide in the country and more than 2,000 cases of destruction of our ecosystems have already been recorded. The amount of damage exceeds UAH 200 billion. Such a war will definitely leave huge scars on the Ukrainian environment. Ukraine has joined the Life family, and we have great hopes that within the framework of the program, among other things, we will be able to restore our wildlife,” Strelets said.
He also recalled that Ukraine has introduced the EkoZahroza official application of the Ministry of Natural Resources, which allows every inhabitant of the planet to receive data around the clock on all changes in environmental indicators on the Ukrainian territory, including radiation pollution.
The Espoo Convention is an international agreement initiated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe that entered into force in 1997. According to the document, the procedure for assessing the environmental impact of potentially hazardous projects should be carried out not only within the state, but also in neighboring countries that may be affected by the impact of these facilities.
On June 24, Ukraine and the EU signed an agreement on joining the Life international environmental program, the budget of which for 2021-2027 for projects to protect the environment is EUR 5.43 billion.